I’m a list kind of guy. I love to make lists of things I have to do and then I check them off one by one until the page is a mess of crossed off lines like the script of a Christopher Hitchens TV Christmas special. I wake up in the morning and I lie there and make a to-do list in my head. (1. Roll right leg off bed  2. Rotate torso  3. Go to bathroom  4. Remind myself to get out of bed FIRST tomorrow morning… THEN go to bathroom.)

We were heading out to Santa Barbara for a two week band trip. We are nothing if not optimistic about our ability to get things done in this band. As the designated anal retentive member of the band… here is my list for the two weeks we would be out there:

1. Rehearse Christmas songs for December tour.
2. Film PSA for SAVE.org
3. Write five new songs (not a typo… yes, five)
4. Do a re-write on one of the songs we recorded last month.
5. Record two new songs in the studio in Ojai.
6. Film us at work with a camera crew to get footage for our All Access Website.
7. Do film interviews for our regular website.
8. Do major edits on a song from the last session and sing all the vocals.

I know what you’re thinking. The life of fledgling rock stars is all about lying on the beach in California and getting our third eye waxed at the Mood Clinic in Carpenteria. Well, you’re wrong. Sure, we DO all those things… but we fly out there with a long list of objectives in our pocket to refer to constantly AS we lie on the beach and get our auras bleached at Raji’s House O’Karma.

We never think we are actually gonna DO all those things. My God, we are only slightly more than human! We shoot for about 30%.

Funny thing is… once we got there, we worked our little fingers to the nubs, dragged ourselves back to our beds every night long past midnight, fought, argued, ate cold dinners that were certainly warm when they arrived just as Georgia says, “let’s take a second look at this third verse, shall we?” Funny thing happened. When the smoke cleared…

We did it all.

It was brutal but we did. We did every single item on the list.

We wrote five new songs and you know what? The last one was the best one we’ve written for the new CD! (In my humble – after thirty years shouldn’t I know a good song from a shitty one? – opinion)

We filmed the PSA, squinting in the sunlight patiently while we waited for the gardener next door to turn off his leaf blower. Apparently every dog in the neighborhood was waiting for that moment too so they could begin talking to each other.

We shot All Access footage and did our interviews. We answered probing questions like: “I noticed that while you were writing the bridge of that song Kenny’s eyes rolled back in his head and you and Georgia started going thru his pockets. Is that part of your ‘process?'”

We sang Christmas songs over and over again while we looked out at a pool that shimmered in 80 degree weather and whispered to us…“I’m cool…I’m wet…I’m waiting”… (pools are bastards).

Then we were back on a plane… (I wonder how many times I have typed that in a blog? I write these as a sort of “sum up” after the work is done so it is usually when I am on an airplane headed home. I hate repeating myself.)

Now we are in the ante room of the Pope’s quarters in the Vatican awaiting the Holy Father, hoping we can stay awake to receive his blessing in spite of the fact that we are sooooo tired.

Look at that list. Go on. Look at it. Scroll up. I’ll wait. Hmmm, hmmm, hmmmmm…. little drummer bo… oh, good, you’re back. That is one big ass list. See how we love you? We do that all for YOU! Ask me what I want to do in November and it would be, “sit on the couch watching tv and eat cinnamon rolls to build up my endurance for competitive holiday eating.” Did I do that? No.

The work of Blue Sky Riders is never done. There is always another list to be made, another line to be crossed off, one more bed to be peed in. And I will be there to pee in it, my friend… with my paper and my number two.

(pencil, you sick freaks).